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Skeleton Ridge Cave

In November, 2008, we hiked up Calamity Wash towards Skeleton Ridge. The wash is two miles up Constellation Road and was described in the late Lee Pearson’s writeup of January 29, 2007.

In this photo, my husband Ed is getting some welcome shade in this nice little cave! We are still somewhat active cavers, so enjoyed finding this one.

Butterflies and Bees

This photo of butterflies and bees was taken in San Domingo Wash east of Wickenburg. I couldn’t approach this bush too closely, due to all the bees swarming in the blossoms! I thought the black butterfly was somewhat unusual. 

Encounters with the Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx Californianus)

Recently a fascinating event happened as I watched an often-maligned predator who stood on the patio several feet from a large yellowbell bush. Suddenly he swiveled his head towards faint chirps. Lowering his body, he dashed into the bush,, returning with a struggling sparrow-sized baby quail held by the neck in his powerful beak. He ran down a path pursued by screeching parents. To quiet his prey, the roadrunner pounded it on the gravel, then rapidly ran away with his food dangling from his beak.

A few months before, I’d seen him or another roadrunner leap into the air, catch …

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Burros, Donkeys, and Mules: Their Uses by Man

During the development and expansion of the Southwest and most of the United States, burros, donkeys, and mules were important animals to use for transportation of people and goods, warfare, work in fields or mines, and occasionally food. Here are definitions for each of these animals.

A burro is the smaller originally wild version of a donkey or ass. Burro comes from the Spanish word for a small donkey. The Spanish conquistadors brought them to the Americas to use as work and pack animals. Burros, descended from this early Spanish stock, are differentiated from “donkeys,” larger animals descended from stock …

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What’s Blooming Now: Cactus Flowers

Here are some spring cactus blooms in our yard. I took the photos as soon as I saw the blooms, as cottontail rabbits eat every bloom they can reach!

Prickly Pear Cactus Flowers

This first show shows two different prickly pear cactus flowers. Prickly pear cactus flowers appear in a variety of colors, from pale yellow to bright fuchsia.

Cholla Cactus Flowers

There is also a wide variety of types of cholla. This one features large, pink flowers.

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